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Adams: Son of Chamber Symphony - a worthy successor

(January 2008)

John Adams’s Chamber Symphony has proved to be one of the most successful new ensemble works of the past 15 years, having received over 300 performances to date. So there was naturally keen anticipation for its successor, Son of Chamber Symphony and, as the Los Angeles Times noted at its November premiere, “John Adams has a ‘Son’ that he can be proud of”. Stanford Lively Arts played host to the first performance with Alarm Will Sound conducted by Alan Pierson.

“This 25-minute opus bursts with technical prowess and cogent wit."
San Francisco Chronicle

Alarm Will Sound will bring Son of Chamber Symphony to Carnegie's Zankel Hall for its New York premiere on February 28. A choreographic version of Son of Chamber Symphony by Mark Morris will recieve its premiere in spring of 2008 as part of the San Francisco Ballet’s New Works Festival, made possible in part by The Swanson Foundation in honour of San Francisco Ballet's 75th Anniversary.

"Son is as difficult as his original chamber symphony, if not more so. The first movement sets out to the accompaniment of a rhythmic motif lifted from the Scherzo of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, then nervously yet confidently scurries all over the place, changing meters all the time. Absorbing its interesting details will require many listenings. The last movement is one of those Adams bucking-bronco blastoffs, riveting and full of surprises.

Son of Chamber Symphony has an assured future. Co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall and the San Francisco Ballet, it will receive its New York premiere in February. Choreography to it by Mark Morris will be unveiled in the spring. But even without such insurance, a kid with these goods should have no problem making his way in the world.”
Los Angeles Times

“The scrappy, punkish processes of the Chamber Symphony have given way to a more unified vision. In Son of Chamber Symphony, all the instruments pull together to create a single overarching narrative - one with multiple strands, to be sure, but without the anarchic energy that can come from the clash of truly independent voices. The music, in other words, has become more symphonic than chamber. That produces a more orderly and comprehensible kind of rhetoric, and in the new work, ideas unfold with a compelling kind of logic.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“…driven by spiky rhythms, chasing its own tail down trails that diverge, crisscross, vanish and re-emerge with a yelp… The second movement is different: those strumming, thrumming strings, quietly glowing, with chirruping winds and ravishing melody for first violin and cello. There are plumes of colour, hints of tango, maybe even boogie-woogie - and then the third movement with its telegraph rhythms and pulsing arpeggios (Nixon dancing?).”
Mercury News

> Más información sobre la obra: Son of Chamber Symphony

Photo: Deborah O'Grady

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